Tuesday January 28, 2014

“But why?”

Surprising but true - this can be a great question!

There’s a good chance, especially if you’ve been around little ones, that somewhere along the line you’ve been driven mad by this question. An exchange might go something like this:

“Put your shoes on, come on.”

“But why?”

“Because I said so.”

“Yes, but why?”

"But why?" Young boy keeps on asking his mum

In your business communication – from correspondence to an email marketing campaign, from your website copy to social media activity – that “but why?” is a great thing to ask yourself, and repeatedly!

Challenging yourself with “but why?” can keep you focused so that everything you communicate is always for a good reason, with a well-defined objective and strategy, and with tactics that drive you towards your desired outcome.

Yes, but why?

Being mountain-stream crystal-clear about the “why” behind all your communication and marketing efforts will help you distill what is important, prioritise tasks and end up saving you time. You’ll concentrate on the things you absolutely need to do as opposed to homing in on the areas you might enjoy the most (social media time-suck anyone?) or that feel good to you.

A good example is website copy – you know your fantastic product or service better than anyone, you may feel you could and should write hundreds of words to do yourself justice, but stop and ask yourself:

“Why? Who is that website for?”

That website, your owned digital space, is your virtual shop window and it needs to be looking outward – making the needs, issues or problems (that you meet or solve) facing your present and future customers or end-users – the thing you put your main focus on.

And the best answer can be…

Hold back from saying everything you want to or could – concentrate on the main points and make them well, make them compelling. An excellent way of focusing the mind is answering your “but why?” with “only I/we/our company…” and then the wonderful thing that you do to serve others that makes you different from everyone else.

“Only I…do everything for a good reason”

So, don’t make your communication like that miscellaneous-item-kitchen-drawer we all seem to have, the one we chuck everything into. Do everything for a good reason that works for you and not just because…everyone else employs a particular tactic, some social media platform is the new hot thing or because you’ve always done it a certain way.

Revisit a question you may have driven your parents mad with and make clear purpose your new BF.

And, if you think you may need some friendly help – clarifying and putting together your message – do get in touch with me.

(Image: iStock.)

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